You won’t get donations unless you have visitors, so if you’re not getting much traffic right now, the first step is to get your donors in the habit of visiting the site. Begin by asking yourself this question: “Are we giving them a good reason to stop by often?”
Does your home page change from week to week or month to month – or is it the same static message every day of the year?
Do your donors feel like if they’ve seen it once, they’ve seen it forever? Or are they eager to come and see what you’ve been doing lately?
Does the content reflect your excitement and your joy at accomplishing the free fundraising sites things you accomplish? Does it show donors that the money they send is making a difference in the world? Does it share success stories? Does it inform readers of upcoming events and let them know the many ways that they can pitch in to help the cause?
If you’re starting to feel a little uncomfortable about the answers to those questions, begin today to improve the site.
You may be up on everything that’s going on with your group. If so – good. If not, get on the phone to all the key people and find out.
Get some success stories, find out about upcoming events, learn the names of all your volunteers so they can be recognized on a special volunteer page, find out what kind of help is needed and how new volunteers can contact the right person to become involved.
Make every effort to get and use photographs of volunteers in action – making things happen for the cause.
When you sponsor an event, be there with camera in hand to capture the fun – and then write about it on the website.
Ask your group president to include an “update time” in each meeting, so that in the future you’ll have the information you need to keep that website humming with new and interesting news.
I’m not suggesting that you cram all of this information onto your home page – but you can create a block on the home page that lets your visitors know they can click to learn more. And if you have an event coming up, or a wonderful story to present, you can feature it prominently on that home page.
Adding a blog is another way to keep content fresh…
How better to add news every few days than to add a blog to your website? Not only can you write about current events and success stories; your various members, donors, and supporters can add comments to make it even more interesting. You just need to urge them to participate.
Do set it up so that you moderate the comments, however. Blogs are being spammed like crazy right now, and you don’t need pages filled with that kind of comments. You also don’t need messages from non-supporters who would put down your work. (For instance, I can imagine scathing comments from puppy mill operators on an animal rescue site that calls for an end to puppy mills.)
To keep your supporters interested and remembering to come back, set up an autoresponder like Get Response and set it so your list will be automatically informed every time you post a new blog entry.
Once you’ve got the website updated, send an email to everyone asking them to come and visit. But don’t stop there.Include an article in your upcoming postal newsletters as well. Urge your readers to visit the site. And if you’ve included a blog, let them know how much you welcome their comments.
If you do a good job of creating interest, friends will tell friends and your website will gain even more popularity – and even more donors.